Lu Q. Le, MD, PhD
Photo: Lu Q. Le





Elected 2015

Dr. Le is a Dermatologist with an interest in Neurofibromatosis. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Medical Scientist Training Program at UCLA, completed his residency and postdoctoral research fellowship at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. As a principal investigator in cancer biology, Dr. Le’s laboratory investigates how early, initiating genetic and microenvironmental events interplay to regulate carcinogenesis. His research group focuses on: (1) identifying the cells of origin of tumorigenesis (how do certain types of cancer originate and develop from adult stem/progenitor cells?); and (2) elucidating the roles of tumor microenvironment in cancer development (how do neighboring non-cancerous cells dictate cancer development and progression?). His laboratory dissects these cellular and molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis from the developmental perspective. They utilize Neurofibromatosis Type I (NF1), a common tumor predisposition human genetic disorder, as a model to address these two fundamental questions of cancer biology as well as elucidating peripheral nervous system development and regeneration. A major contribution of Dr. Le’s laboratory is the generation and exploitation of novel Neurofibromatosis models to decipher mechanisms that initiate Neurofibroma genesis and drive their malignant transformation. His laboratory has identified the cells of origin for different types of Neurofibroma, defined developmental “window-of-opportunity” within Schwann cell lineage for Neurofibroma development and delineated vital cancer pathways for its malignant transformation. These studies have addressed fundamental, unanswered questions in the Neurofibromatosis field and could lead directly to potentially effective therapies for NF1 patients, where none exist today.